Labour Code: The term “Substantial” left out of exemption provisions !


The CPIO- (Labour Law Reforms) RTI,

Ministry of Labour & Employment,

Room No. 14, Shram Shakti Bhavan,

New Delhi – 110001


Sub: Application under Sec. 6 of the RTI Act – Omission of the word ‘Substantial’ in Sec. 94.1 (h) of Draft Labour Code on Social Security & Welfare – information – requested.
Ref: Memo No. No. Z-13025/ 13 /2015-LRC dated 16.03.2017



I have to state that Sec. 94. 1 (h) of the Draft Labour Code made public on 16.03.2017, as per the reference cited, shows that the authorities who prepared the draft Code had taken a conscious, deliberate and calculated decision to drop the word “substantially” before the word “similar” appearing therein.


  1. This is in sharp contrast to the existing conditions imposed on the employers who seek exemption from coverage under the ESI Act, as could be seen from the proviso to Sec. 87 of the ESI Act, 1948, which is reproduced below:

“Provided that such exemptions may be granted only if the employees’ in such factories or establishments are otherwise in receipt of benefits substantially similar or superior to the benefits provided under this Act.”


  1. 90 of the ESI Act, which also deals with the concept of Exemptions, contains the phrase “substantially” similar”. Besides, the proviso to Sec.1(4) which deals with the exemption of the factories and establishments belonging to or under the control of the Government, also insists of the condition of the benefits being “substantially” similar or superior.
  2. The term “substantial” can have a qualitative meaning and be defined as “important” or “essential”, and can have a quantitative meaning and be defined as “considerable in quantity” or “significantly great” in amount. This word precludes invoking the ‘de minimis’ (Page 812 – Concise Law Dictionary – Wadhwa Publication).
  3. Yet, such an important word has, consciously, been left out in Sec. 94 of the Draft Labour Code in ‘Part L’ which deals with exemption. There must, therefore, have been strong justification recorded in writing by the officers or the committee of experts who had drafted this Sec. 94 of the Draft Labour Code concerned.
  4. I, therefore, request you to kindly supply the following information under Sec. 6 of the Right to Information Act, 2005:

Kindly supply the relevant pages of the ‘filenoting’ / ‘office note’ / ‘report of the committee of experts’ / ‘report of the of officers’ in which such an explanation justifying their suggestion to drop the word ‘substantial’ in Sec. 94 in ‘Part L’ of the Code is found recorded.


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